Laughter, Love Letters, & Lesson Planning
~ By Anna
With every passing day spent here on this beautiful islita, I am becoming more and more accustomed to the island way of living. I am no longer surprised when I see a 3-foot-long iguana drop out of a palm tree, an entire family of five riding the same small moped, or when the WiFi stops working for days at a time. A big lesson that I’ve learned here is that everything is always going to be okay.
I am also getting very used to the food here, although it didn’t take much. (I have absolutely loved all the Mexican cuisine and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it). Not to mention, my spice tolerance has increased X 10 and most days I hold a strict diet of a million tacos, agua de limón (lemon water), and whatever the street vendors are selling. In spite of the delicious food, breathtaking sunsets, and pristine beaches, my favorite part about living here continues to be the kids I teach.
Every time I walk into school, I am greeted by dozens of hugs and children screaming, “TEACHER ANNA!” No matter how tired or stressed I may be feeling in that moment, it all diminishes with a single hug from one of my smiling students. I have fallen in love with all of the intelligent, creative, and witty students that I teach. I really do believe one of the best parts of my job working as an English teacher here is getting to know such a wide variety of students. I work at three different primary schools on the island and have the opportunity to teach and work with students from all grades, 1-6. This translates to teaching roughly 500 students every week. Despite the long days at school and all of the hard work that goes into lesson planning for six different grades, seeing the kids excited to learn makes it all worth it. I end every night by reading the letters given to me by my students that day. These letters never fail to make me feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work, sing, and play with these beautiful young souls. I fall asleep knowing that I have made a difference and that is more than I could ever ask for.